"This is short."

Translation:C'est court.

March 23, 2013



Why doesn't "C'est courte" work (instead of "court")?

May 29, 2014


Because c'est is ce+est. Ce is masculine while courte is feminine. It should be C'est court or cette est courte.

July 10, 2014


Because "C'est" is short for "Ça+est" (a compulsory contraction). "Ça" doesn't have a gender and is therefore always masculine. You would use "courte" if you had a word that is unequivocally feminine: "Cette jupe est courte" = "This skirt is short".

January 13, 2015


I disagree since "C'est une fille sympa" translates as "She is a nice girl". In this sentence, then, "C'est" clearly means "She is", not very masculine.

January 19, 2015


That's one of the main problems with grasping exactly what we mean by "c'est", because it is used in many different situations which all require different translations in English.

C'est is an impersonal way of describing almost anything, and can introduce a nominal group (like in your example, "une fille sympa" is a group with a noun) of any gender (you can absolutely say "c'est un garçon sympa", which would then translate to "he's a nice boy"). It would be the equivalent of saying in English: "That's a nice dog", just with an extended version that can also introduce a person in the same way. In both cases the adjective has to agree with the noun it follows or precedes.

However, when it introduces an adjective (like in the above example), then it's meant as "It's short" or "That's short", and can be expressed to describe anything, with "cela" or "ça" shortened to "c'" and replacing anything that was previously mentioned, and always impersonal, staying in the masculine singular form.

You also have to remember that our use of "court" never applies to the height of a person, for which we use the adjective "petit" (small). This sentence can therefore not be meant for a person, but rather relates to the length of something else.

January 19, 2015

  • 2105

Please explain why cela is correct and not ca?


March 23, 2013


According to about.com, it says that cela is used for the subject of verbs. It can also be C'est court as it says too. ça alone can't really mean it is o r this is and you wouldn't use ça est either. More info : http://french.about.com/od/grammar/a/indefinite-demonstrative-pronoun.htm

January 31, 2014


Because you can always say "Cela est", but we almost never use it. However, "Ça est" is a compulsory contraction, and is shortened to "c'est".

January 13, 2015


Difference between court and petit?

Additional info: I answered 'C'est petit' for 'This is short' and was marked correct.

January 17, 2014


'Petit' means small, so it would be something small in size, and 'court' means short, so it would be like an object. It's like the difference between small and short simply.

January 31, 2014


C'est bas why is incorrect?...

May 6, 2014


Because "bas" means low (as in, the opposite of "haut") while "court" means short (the opposite of "long").

December 4, 2014


Can "court" be used as it is sometimes in Spanish to mean that someone is not very intelligent? Could one say "Il/Elle is est court/e?

April 2, 2018


I meant "Il/Elle est court/e".

April 2, 2018


bas means low and court means short... I can see how in some cases it could be confusing... But think of low as referring to something big (opposite to high): ie low ceiling (it could also be figurative: ie low culture) Whereas short refers to the length of something/someone (opposite to long)... ie short hair (or figurative: short on cash)

May 27, 2014


I think "Celui-ci" might work here as well, but I can understand why ceci is used in a very strict sense.

January 21, 2015


I used celui-ci and was marked wrong

June 9, 2017


Would you say "c'est brev" if talking about length of time?

April 24, 2016


The masculine form is "bref." And yes, you can say "c'est bref."

August 11, 2016


Comment on dit "he's running short" ?

March 15, 2017


C'est ce qu'elle a dit

February 20, 2019
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